The AI Fault Line from the US-China Trade War

In over 5 years, organizations in China who have registered the patent for AI increased more than 20% per year. Compared to other countries, the United States of America and China are ranged in the Top 5 countries for registered AI patents. It shows both countries are interested in AI Research and Development (R&D) aiming to be the leading countries of the world economy.

According to research from Accenture focusing on the 12 developed countries, predicted by 2030 AI will become an important tool to double up world economic growth. Research from PwC predicted by 2030, the world GDP will increase 14% or 15.7 trillion US dollars. Both research from Accenture and PwC agree that AI will play an important role in terms of automation for more productivity in many industries including factory and logistics. And in the near future, platform owners will get a huge amount of data which you can use to analyze and create personal experience from customers to enhance more value to products and services to drive national and world economy. That’s why everyone wants to have their own platform.

According to the economic situation, China and the United States of America has the strong relation. China, the leading of producer and consumer with strong policies to grow by leaps and bounds, plays a role as an exporter and investor for the US. China also has the skillful students and researchers. Meanwhile, the USA exports agricultural products, semiconductor, and electronic tools to China. (If you are interested in China-USA relation, I recommend the book written by Dr. Arm Tungnirundorn) US-China trade war influences world AI development. Especially the media, presenting the image of AI as the AI arms race which is quite dangerous for the world. Although, AI is the Dual-use Technology which can be used for both army and people, but the good leading of AI development and researchers must consider AI Ethics for people and society. Now, researchers are concerned with Surveillance, Data bias, Data colonism, and climate crisis because the use of data centers include high technology of AI tools which some model produce more than 300,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide, you can compare that to a 125 round flight from Beijing to New York. These are the concerns in the AI industry we need to be aware of.

China takes advantage of location and culture in Asia as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, a major strategy of China to spread the transportation to other countries. They also focus on helping many developing countries to develop AI technology. t Talking about the USA, they started worrying about AI development falling behind China. The Interim Report November 2019 of National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence states that limited availability of funding contributes to an accelerating brain drain from academia to industry. This damages the USA in terms of AI leading ability and affected national security. While other leading countries including China plan to invest more budgets for AI research. The report suggests that increasing AI R&D budget, adopting AI for security, making relation to government, private sectors, university for AI research, and connecting to negotiate with other countries, are important to create most use of AI. t

For Thailand as the alliance of both China and the USA, we should learn from the case studies and cooperate with other countries for Technological risk diversification. Another concern applies when international relations has changed, data/technology colonization of people data could be used as an economic bargaining power.